The well sparkled in the moonlight. The bucket was heavy, but that compensated for the hard and tiring work I had done in the factory. The water was cool on my lips which was contradicted the heat in the shack. I closed my eyes, and heaved a sigh. Sheila once told me how she dreamed of one day going to Mumbai to go to study and making her parents proud. She always wondered if her parents were alive, they would be proud of her or not.
This thought never left my mind. At the end of the bucket, the magical moment of freedom will be lost and back in the shack again. BOOOOOOMM! ‘ the peace of the night was broken, pandemonium, pieces flying everywhere.
The grandiose flames rose up, lay a beast within the earth, accompanied by an aura of smoke. Before I knew it the smoke encompassed me, like a tornado. I couldn’t see, I couldn’t breathe, I ran, ran far away, ran away from this lunacy.
Running, running for my life but then I stopped. Sheila! My fear had vanished. I lost all sensation. I froze. I turned and ran towards the scorching conflagration. I ran towards the ferocious beast of fire and grime. Sheila, Sheila, Sheila.
That was the only thought in my mind. The deafening noise of crackers, which was the only thing I could hear, seemed to roar in my ear. The fire stood like an unbreakable wall between Sheila and me. I couldn’t do anything.
All I could hear were screams and shrieks. I knew I had to save Sheila but wondered how to. This fiend was smoldering away my only support. “Sheila Sheila, I’m coming for you, hold on. ” I took a deep breath and prepared myself to enter the vicious inferno that might even absorb me in the bargain, but nothing could stop me from saving Sheila.
I could feel my heart beating in my mouth as I prepared to go in. My life flashed before my eyes but my fear just disappeared when I heard a cry. “Save me someone please! ” I knew that was Sheila and thought no more about myself but only about Sheila. Just as I was about to go in, a force grabbed my forearm I resisted, I shook it off,. It was tighter, it pulled me back. It assumed a voice- ‘calm down child” I screamed, I shrieked, but the deafening crackers drowned my pleas. The villagers had come, they pour water, but the shack merely consumed it, emitting more smoke as if to deter us.
All the villagers’ efforts to put off the fire were hopeless. I stood there, still trying to fight the arm, which still grabbed on to me tight. I could see my best friend burning away and there was nothing I could do except pray that they might be able to put the giant to sleep. “Save me! ” Those were her last words to me and she was merely consumed by the beast. I screamed and howled but it was no use. Sheila was now merely a victim of this incident. I collapsed, feeling feeble and desolated; like I was the reason Sheila was dead. The villagers went on pouring more and more water but it was no use.
I stood near the fire that whole night, remembering all the times Sheila and I had spent together. All her dreams, her hopes and her deepest desires came crawling back into my mind. The times we had laughed and the times we had cried. As the fire was slowly fading, my memories faded along with it. The next morning, the monster finally gave in. After a long search through stones and ruins of others, they finally found her- but without her voice, her smile, her hair. Her beautiful pale face was charred black. Her slender legs were bone. The hell of my six months had finally perished consuming my only friend, and left her remains.